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On the back of this season’s two sell-outs, Vodafone Warriors average home crowd numbers have increased by an exceptional 49 per cent year on year.

Mount Smart Stadium was sold out more than 48 hours before tonight’s regular season finale against Canberra, taking the aggregate attendance for this year’s 12 home games to 209,644.

Tonight’s capacity crowd follows the full house for the historic SKYCITY Auckland Double Header in April to give the club two sell-outs in a regular season for the first time since 1995.

This year’s aggregate attendance is almost 70,000 more than the total of 140,624 last year and close to 40,000 up on 2016’s 171,620.

The regular season average crowd has surged to 17,470 compared to only 11,718 last year, a 49 per cent year-on-year increase while the average in 2016 was 14,301.

“The growth in our crowd numbers is a huge tribute to all our members and fans for the way they’ve backed the team this year,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“They’ve turned up consistently to make our home games such special occasions.

“The SKYCITY Double Header was a wonderful event and we’re absolutely thrilled with the response for Simon Mannering’s 300th NRL appearance tonight. It’s going to huge.

“Central to the success has been the terrific work done by (fan engagement manager) Aaron Lawton and the team who have come up with some wonderful ideas to draw crowds and enhance the game day experience.”

The total attendance this year is the club’s best in 21 years, topped only by the numbers in 1995 (290,946) and 1996 (221,388).

Even when the Vodafone Warriors made the grand final in 2011, the total home crowd number failed to top 200,000 (192,218).

There have been five crowds of 17,000-plus this year after just two instances of 17,000-plus in 36 games in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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